Carlos Curbelo on the Rise -- But So Are Democrats' Attacks
Around the State
A prominent South Florida Republican is hitting the national airwaves but he’s also drawing fire from the Democrats in Washington.
Republicans have high hopes for Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo as he looks to defeat U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., in a swing district in South Florida. On Monday, the GOP congressional hopeful took to the national stage.
Curbelo appeared on “Fox and Friends” on Fox News on Monday morning along with fellow Republican congressional candidates Evan Jenkins of West Virginia and Richard Tisei of Massachusetts. Neither Garcia nor the Democratic congressmen that Jenkins and Tisei are challenging appeared on the show despite being invited.
Asked about what he is seeing in the campaign, Curbelo said voters in South Florida are “frustrated with the government we have today.” He added young voters and immigrants are losing faith in the American dream. “They don’t see the opportunities this country used to offer.” Curbelo also said voters want Congress to “fix the Obama economy which is leaving so many people behind.”
Asked about what he sees as the most important issue in this campaign, Curbelo said it was the national debt and federal spending.
“Young voters are starting to wake up,” Curbelo said, insisting the Obama administration was running up the national debt on “our generation’s credit card.”
But, as Curbelo’s profile rises, he draws more fire from national Democrats. On Friday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) pointed toward a report from the Miami New Times which claimed Curbelo often voted to approve contracts to campaign donors.
The DCCC also noted that Curbelo backed former U.S. Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., who Garcia defeated in 2012. Rivera, who was hampered by numerous reports about ethics scandals during his term in Congress, is running against Curbelo in the Republican primary.
“Lobbyist Carlos Curbelo and David Rivera are two peas in a pod who practice the same brand of pay-to-play politics with questionable ethics in order to help themselves – which is why it’s no surprise that Curbelo endorsed Rivera’s scandal-plagued campaign,” said David Bergstein, a DCCC spokesman, on Friday. “Before Curbelo attacks Rivera on ethics, Curbelo must explain his own shady record: funneling millions of tax dollars meant for Miami-Dade schools to his corporate campaign contributors.”
Besides Curbelo and Rivera, Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall, former Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez and attorney Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck are also running for the Republican nomination.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.